AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was an exhibition game, sure, but the No. 3 Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team put its offensive firepower on display Sunday night at the Moody Center.
The Longhorns beat DePaul 105-62 in an unofficial season opener.
The game was a fundraiser for the Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation, and proceeds from the event benefited the Uvalde community’s efforts to recover from the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School, which killed 19 students and two teachers. The foundation is helping to build a new elementary school and will support the ongoing needs of the area as it transitions from the tragedy.
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“This is about as good as we’ve played, practiced, watched film, done anything since we got together,” Longhorns head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I thought we brought a lot of energy.”
Sonya Morris, who transferred from DePaul to Texas to use her graduate eligibility, led the Longhorns with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting. She recorded four rebounds, three assists and one steal against her former team. She is No. 9 all-time at DePaul with 1,668 points and No. 8 all-time with 193 three-pointers made.
Aaliyah Moore scored 20 points with a pair of blocked shots and DeYona Gaston went a perfect 8-for-8 from the field to finish with 18 points. Khadija Fay had a double-double in just 14 minutes with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Shaylee Gonzalez scored 15 points with two 3-pointers.
It was the team’s first time playing in the brand new 15,000-seat Moody Center, and Morris said it already felt like home.
“A lot of arenas have dead spots on the floor and the lights are in your eyes when you shoot, but I felt comfortable on the court,” she said.
Moore said the team just needs more practice in the spacious arena, but she’s already in love with the program’s new home.
“When we finished, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s nice,'” Morris said. “I think we showed resilience and courage today and that means we can train.” I think we did a great job as a team that just made its mark.”
Eight Longhorns played double-digit minutes and the Horns shot nearly 61 percent from the field in the second quarter to turn a 3-point lead after the first quarter into a 57-38 halftime lead.
Texas had 56 points in the paint to DePaul’s 28, and the Longhorns scored 42 points off 29 turnovers by the Blue Demons.
Anniza Morrow had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Blue Demons.
Texas plays another exhibition game at 7:00 pm on November 4 against Wayland Baptist, an NAIA program from San Antonio. The Longhorns open the regular season on Nov. 11 against Louisiana.